When we were traveling in Ireland this past October, our Irish tour guide told us that Ireland did not have a “gun culture” as we did in the States. Never having heard that opinion expressed before, the term “gun culture” stayed in my head.

After the recent killings at an elementary school in Connecticut, I looked up the word “culture” in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, which reads in part: the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations; the characteristic features of everyday existence shared by people in a place or time.

Charles M. Blow wrote in A Tragedy of Silence, New York Times, that public opinion is shifting away from gun control. In a recent Gallup poll 53 percent to 43 percent opposed the ban on semiautomic guns or assault rifles.

As I watched my nine-year-old grandson’s eyes riveted to the front page of Saturday’s New York Times lying on our coffee table, his look of concern told me I needed to speak out in support of gun control. I hope you will, too.

It’s time for a cultural shift.

By Marianna Crane

After a long career in nursing--I was one of the first certified gerontological nurse practitioners--I am now a writer. My writings center around patients I have had over the years that continue to haunt my memory unless I record their stories. In addition, I write about growing older, confronting ageism, creativity and food. My memoir, "Stories from the Tenth Floor Clinic: A Nurse Practitioner Remembers" is available where ever books are sold.


  1. We certainly have a gun culture. I used to be a part of it. Now I’m speaking out for gun control. This has to stop.


  2. Agree! I remember as a young nurse getting report that a new patient was in for GSW. I had no idea what this abbreviation stood for. Gun Shot Wound. It happened then, in 1972, from street violence in a south suburb of Chicago. Now, 30 years later, the situation seems much worse. I agree with what someone said on the news–why must we cater to an elite few when the masses are at risk?


    1. Yes, I worked at University of Chicago Hospital around the same time. I worked nights. Sometimes we would have a GSW patient that the staff believed the gang members who shot the guy would come up to the ward to finish him off. Sometimes we had an armed guard on the unit. Often not. If my night was busy, as it usually was, I didn’t have time to worry this.

      Yes, this was 30 years ago.


  3. I think now is the time that we really MUST try to get guns under control. I’ve already written to my Senators, signed petitions, posted on FB. Let’s not give up.


  4. Automatic / assault weapons should not be sold or made available to ordinary citizens. This is insanity as evidenced by the Sandy Hook school tragedy. How many more people and most especially small children will have to be massacred before this country comes to its senses?


    1. I, for one, will keep up my advocacy efforts to stop the sale of these weapons.

      Of course there are more issues surrounding this tragedy. We need to support adequate mental health care, reduce the violence in our video games and movies, etc.


  5. Reblogged this on Marianna Crane: nursing stories and commented:

    I have written about gun control on December 16, 2012 and reblogged the post in December 14, 2013. Three years later, I’m rebloging it along with the editorial from the New York Times. I am committed to do as the NYT suggests: I will not vote for politicians who support gun laws that allow the people to “legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill with brutal speed and efficiency.”
    May we Americans who care about the future of our children and grandchildren deliver the message to our elected officials that we will no longer tolerate the NRA’s influence.

    This editorial published on A1 in the Dec. 5 edition of The New York Times. It is the first time an editorial has appeared on the front page since 1920.

    The Opinion Pages | EDITORIAL

    End the Gun Epidemic in America

    It is a moral outrage and national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency.

    All decent people feel sorrow and righteous fury about the latest slaughter of innocents, in California. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are searching for motivations, including the vital question of how the murderers might have been connected to international terrorism. That is right and proper.
    But motives do not matter to the dead in California, nor did they in Colorado, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Connecticut and far too many other places. The attention and anger of Americans should also be directed at the elected leaders whose job is to keep us safe but who place a higher premium on the money and political power of an industry dedicated to profiting from the unfettered spread of ever more powerful firearms.

    It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection. America’s elected leaders offer prayers for gun victims and then, callously and without fear of consequence, reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing, as they did on Thursday. They distract us with arguments about the word terrorism. Let’s be clear: These spree killings are all, in their own ways, acts of terrorism.

    Opponents of gun control are saying, as they do after every killing, that no law can unfailingly forestall a specific criminal. That is true. They are talking, many with sincerity, about the constitutional challenges to effective gun regulation. Those challenges exist. They point out that determined killers obtained weapons illegally in places like France, England and Norway that have strict gun laws. Yes, they did.
    But at least those countries are trying. The United States is not. Worse, politicians abet would-be killers by creating gun markets for them, and voters allow those politicians to keep their jobs. It is past time to stop talking about halting the spread of firearms, and instead to reduce their number drastically — eliminating some large categories of weapons and ammunition.

    It is not necessary to debate the peculiar wording of the Second Amendment. No right is unlimited and immune from reasonable regulation.
    Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership. It is possible to define those guns in a clear and effective way and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of weapons to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens.
    What better time than during a presidential election to show, at long last, that our nation has retained its sense of decency?


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